Friday, September 23, 2011

Ray Hanania-Columnist or Comedian?

Ray Hanania, a former Creators columnist and is now a self-published  Palestinian-American writer married to a Jewish woman. He writes about Mideast issues in an evenhanded way that makes him seem like a radical with some of his topics compared to other columnists who back Israel almost unconditionally. Hanania's approach to writing has caused him to become un-popular with much of the mainstream media. By the way, Hanania is also a stand-up comedian who has developed just as large of an audience to his hilarious comedy as to his humorous writing.
Hanania's parents are Christian immigrants from Palestine. His mother is from Bethlehem; his father, George John Hanania, from a prominent Christian family in Jerusalem, served with the U.S. Army during World War II and with the Office of Strategic Services and later the CIA. He himself served with the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and in the Illinois Air National Guard. Hanania's wife, Alison, is Jewish; and they currently reside in Orland Park, Illinois
Hanania is a University of Chicago graduate and a longtime, veteran Chicago political reporter, Hanania now writes an award winning column analyzing political and social issues that is now a part of several Chicago area newspapers. He also writes a weekly column for the Jerusalem Post Newspaper on Middle East issues.
As a parttime, freelance media and political analyst, Hanania also provides media support for web pages and internal communications projects as well as providing media consulting to governments and businesses.
Hanania is also a recognized Arab American historian and author of several books including "Arabs of Chicagoland" which was published in 2005. To add to his list of commitments, he is an activist for peace between Palestinians and Israelis speaking out against terrorism, violence, extremism, and religious fanaticism. He strongly supports and advocates for peace based on non-violence and compromise between Israel and Palestine.
Hanania has become internationally known as a standup comedian using humor performing for Christian, Muslim and Jewish audiences around the world to confront hatred and animosity. His Arab American-Jewish comedy routine lampoons his life and unique marriage to his wife, Alison, who is Jewish, at clubs, universities and Arab, Muslim, Jewish and American events around the country.
Some of his college credentials and awards include: Sigma Delta Chi National Award for Column Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists for his columns on the alleged discrimination against an Arab grocer in a suburb of Chicago. MT. Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award 2009 by the Mehdi Family. Winner of the First National Ethnic Media Award for Commentary/Editorial Writing (which was translated into English) in 2006 by the New America Media Association for his three-part series: "Shedding Moonlight on Conflict," "A new Language of Peace" and "Things Palestinians and Israelis share." Society of Professional Journalists Lisagor Award for column writing in 1985, 2003, 2007, 2009. Also, he won an award for a Chicago Newspaper Guild Column among many others.
I enjoy his comedy and stand up humor considering that I can directly relate to the Arab-American issues he must deal with, as well as the Arab-Jewish relations that I have written about and followed throughout my college years. His humor somehow creates more of an understanding of these very serious issues while raising awareness to anti-war efforts and racial tolerance in America. I appreciate his writing and the efforts behind them and will continue to read and follow his work.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting guy, and the column is pretty comprehensive.

    One suggestion for improvement: some examples of his writing would be nice to read...

    I look forward to seeing some examples - and discussing them - in class...